Colchester Historical Society Events

Throughout the year the Colchester Historical Society offers programs that explore Colchester’s rich past, introduce you to community members with similar interests, and allow you to unwind, relax, and learn something new about your town!


All events and programs take place at the Colchester History Museum unless otherwise noted.  For more information, email us at: 


August, 2017

Ice Cream & History: Washington at War
Tuesday, August 22
6:30 pm, Free
(Rain Date: Thursday, August 24)

Enjoy a warm summer evening with Ice Cream & History!  Professional actor John Koopman III portrays General George Washington, for the Colchester History Museum’s annual Ice Cream & History event (formerly “Ice Cream Social”).  Visit the museum to learn more about Colchester’s connection to the Revolutionary War and Washington’s Army at Valley Forge!  After the program, Koopman will sign copies of his book, “George Washington at War–1776.”  Special thanks to partial-sponsor Harry’s Place for donating the free ice cream.  For more information, email:



School for Colored Children Dedication Ceremony
Friday, September 15
4:30 pm; Free
Location: Colchester Federated Church

Join the Colchester Historical Society and the Colchester Historic Properties Commission as the reconstructed 1803 School for Colored Children is dedicated.  Beverly Morgan-Welch, Associate Director of External Affairs for the National Museum of African American History and Culture with the Smithsonian Institution, will offer the keynote presentation, with ribbon-cutting and refreshments to follow.  For more information, email:

Colchester Community Conversation
Saturday, September 16
9 am to noon; Free
Location: Colchester Federated Church

The Colchester Historical Society will offer a panel presentation and discussion moderated by CT Old State Capitol director Sally Whipple regarding the School for Colored Children exhibit, funded in part through a grant from CTHumanities, to be on display at the Colchester History Museum in 2018.  More information coming soon, for questions email


Storied History: World War I
Location: Cragin Memorial Library
Each event starts at 6:30 pm; Free
Thursday, September 28:
–Book: One of Ours (1922) by Willa Cather
Thursday, October 26:
–Book: Maisie Dobbs (2003) by Jacqueline Winespear
Thursday, November 9:
–Lecture: TBD

Join the Colchester Historical Society and the Cragin Memorial Library for a new collaborative book discussion program, Storied History, which looks at history through the lens of literature!  To commemorate the Centennial of World War I, two books related to the war have been selected for discussion, one classic and one contemporary.  The last month will feature a speaker on the topic.  No reservations necessary, and all are welcome to attend.  For more information, email:


Ghoulchester: A Graveyard Tour into the Past
Location: tour begins at Hayward Fire Company Museum on South Main Street
Friday, October 13
Time & Cost: TBD
(Rain Date: Sunday, October 15)

Formerly known s the “Spooky Cemetery Tour,” the Colchester Historical Society’s newly-named Ghoulchester is still the same great popular program!  During this tour of the Colchester Burying Ground, visitors will meet notable characters from Colchester’s past–as if they’ve just risen from their graves to share their stories!  Tours are guided and recommended for both adults and families with children.  All children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult.  Bring a flashlight to enhance your experience.  Tour space is limited and advanced reservations are strongly recommended.  After your tour, meet a fortuneteller and enjoy refreshments at the nearby Colchester History Museum.  The historic Colchester Burying Ground, located behind the Old Bacon Academy, is one of the finest graveyards in eastern Connecticut housing the remains of many prominent citizens, and featuring exquisitely carved historic headstones.  For more information, email:

GHOULS WANTED: The Colchester History Museum is currently seeking actors and ghoul-guides for its annual “Ghoulchester: A Graveyard Tour into the Past” cemetery tour program in October (formerly known as “spooky tours.”) Please contact CHS at for more information or to sign up! The final date of the event is Friday, October 13th, with rain date scheduled for Sunday, October 15th, but all “volunteer ghouls” will be expected to commit to two rehearsal days in September and the rain date, along with the actual date of performance. Sign-up early—places fill up fast! We “haunt” to hear from you soon!

Current News!


The Colchester Historical Society is proud to announce the successful completion of StEPS-CT, or Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs).

The Colchester Historical Society was one of 23 small cultural and heritage organizations which recently completed this intensive 2-year program.  CHS received support and training via curriculum-based workshops; coaching from a dedicated mentor; and access to a Connecticut Humanities grant fund earmarked for initiatives related to achieving StEPs-CT program standards.

Over the course of the program, the Colchester Historical Society achieved bronze and silver certificates in six areas of museum practice.  Through continued work on a self-study basis, CHS plans to continue to strive for gold certification in all StEPS Units.  “This is just the beginning,” said CHS Co-President Gigi Liverant, “we are so grateful for StEPS-CT for all that we’ve learned, and we plan to continue developing procedures and policies that establish Colchester Historical Society as the premier steward of Colchester’s history and heritage.”

“Our experience with StEPS-CT has been invaluable,” Angela George, Co-President of CHS added. “From improved signage that has increased visitation to the museum, to implementing current policies that guide our volunteers through daily operations, StEPS-CT has improved our organization.  We can now provide better programs to our community, and we are now better able to tell our audiences our local histories and preserve our heritage through our unique collections and images.”

StEPs-CT is a program of Connecticut Humanities and the Connecticut League of History Organizations, in partnership with Connecticut Historical Society, based on a curriculum of best practices developed by the American Association for State and Local History.  

Connecticut’s program was the first to integrate the national StEPs curriculum and is viewed as a model for similar programs across the country, according to Scott Wands, manager of grants and programs at Connecticut Humanities.

Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, provides opportunities to explore the history, literature and the vibrant culture that make our state, cities and towns attractive places to live and work. Learn more by visiting

The Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO) builds connections among those who preserve and share the stories and objects of our past. Learn more by visiting




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